The desire to travel is often seen as the urge to explore faraway places – a couple of months in Australia, six weeks in the Far East. But Robert’s sights are set much closer to home.
Admittedly, it helps that he lives in South Cumbria, with the spectacular Lake District and the glorious Yorkshire Dales on his doorstep.
“We go out walking every month – or a city visit to take in the sights,” he says. “Firstly, we’re enjoying the exercise, but we also make plenty of time for good food and drink.”
The “we” in this case is a former work colleague. Although it’s now four years since Robert retired, the monthly trips have remained a constant. “The most important aspect is the good company and the experiences,” he says. The pair document their outings on social media and have turned their tales into a series of books, aptly titled ‘Old Gits on Tour’!
Community spirit and careful budgeting
Describing himself as a “very social character”, quizzes and amateur theatre top the list of Robert’s hobbies – he’s chairman of the local panto society (oh no he isn’t!), and during lockdown kept busy with online quizzes for his friends.
It’s clear that careful budgeting was vital to achieving his current freedom. “It was my choice to retire at 62. I looked at all my outgoings, my income, and pension; and got my head round the fact that the savings I had put away were money for me to use.
Now is the time to enjoy life,” he says.